On May 3, 2014 two stores of the wildly popular American Girl stores open in Canada in Chapters and Indigo stores in Toronto and Vancouver.
Chapters has indicated that they will open 15 stores before the end of next year. The rumour is that Chapters Polo Park and Indigo Kenaston Common are being considered for late this year or early next. Only one is to be picked.
American Girl will occupy about 1,800 square feet in any Chapters bookstore they locate in. This will be smaller that the average U.S. store where the size can sore to over 50,000 square feet.
Many American retailers are taking a slower approach after Target’s hammering in Canada the year it opened. It has been extremely costly for the big retailer and has given pause to others coming into the market. It is likely the reason American Girl decided to partner with the big Canadian bookstore.
So what is American Girl? Well, it is a 25 year old retailer owned by Mattel that sells pre-teen dolls in historical times. Most guys are not likely to get it but these dolls sell for over a hundred dollars in many cases. There is also lots of purchases a customer can make after their purchase such as hairstyling and ear piercing.
If this sounds like a retail operation that should give its head a shake, consider this: Chapters could see a rise of between $20 and $30 million in revenue just having the stores take space in low volume areas of the floor space.
Expect to hear an announcement about a Winnipeg American Girl store soon.
This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations